Can Football Find a Way Out of a Moral Maze?

October 11, 2021

Are we freighting football with too much responsibility? After all, the game we recognize today started as a frivolous competition for English factory workers to let off steam at the end of a miserable, emotionally unrewarding and ungratifying work week in the 19th century. Yet this futile ball...

The Relationship Between Football and Populism

In the Middle East, Football is More Than a Game

February 03, 2016

In this edition of The Interview, Fair Observer talks to award-winning journalist James Dorsey. To millions around the world, football is a religion. Countries bicker and fight to host the World Cup. Organizations like FIFA rise and fall in the face of never-ending corruption scandals. The last...

Israel Struggles With Racist Underground

August 05, 2015

Government investigations over Beitar Jerusalem and La Familia suggest that Israel might seriously tackle racist soccer fans. Israel is struggling with groups linked to a banned nationalist party. The movements in question are at the forefront of racist, anti-Palestinian incidents. These include...

Blatter Reveals Shady World of Sport and Politics

July 05, 2015

Sepp Blatter admits that sports and politics are intertwined, as a shadow falls on European and Middle Eastern dealings. Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter unwittingly put his finger on two fundamental issues that underlie a corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer governance: the...

You Think Playing Like a Girl is Easy?

June 30, 2015

What it takes to play football like a girl. There’s money in women’s football, but not much of it, so you might need an extra job. You have to be your own biggest fan because media coverage is minimal. And you’d have to listen to suggestions like wearing tighter shorts to attract a...

A Brief History of Women’s Football

June 28, 2015

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup in full swing, Ariel Hessayon reflects on women’s surprisingly long involvement with football. While medieval girls and women played and were entertained by a variety of bat and ball games, the earliest specific association I know of comes from a mid-15th...

Blatter Helps AFC to Keep its Skeletons in the Closet

June 01, 2015

Amid FIFA corruption allegations, the Asian Football Confederation has ensured its own skeletons remain under lock and key. Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter has spun the world soccer body’s crisis as a public relations and reputation management issue, and a problem caused by individuals...

FIFA Arrests Put Corruption on the Agenda

May 27, 2015

FIFA and Sepp Blatter are used to annual meetings that run like clockwork. But US and Swiss police have made sure this time it’s different. FIFA’s annual meetings are normally formulaic affairs where everything goes to plan: grand speeches are held; pats on the back are summarily dished out;...

Israel Chides Soccer Club For Racism

April 21, 2015

The failure to confront Beitar Jerusalem and La Familia has entrenched Palestinian perceptions of an Israeli society that is inherently racist. Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that Beitar Jerusalem, a racist soccer club, retract recent statements that it...

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